The Build Back Better bill, which is how the reconciliation only legislation has been branded, DOES NOT ACTUALLY EXIST!!!!! What does exist is a series of legislative frameworks and requests from the White House, the latest of which President Biden released this morning shortly after his press conference on the topic and different possible legislative language bouncing around the Senate from different Democratic senators. There is no actual, cohesive, final bill written. It is unclear when, if at all, such an actual, cohesive, final bill will be written.
The problem with the list that WG provided in her post a little while ago is that NONE OF WHAT IS LISTED BELOW THE EMBEDDED VIDEO IS IN THE BILL BECAUSE THERE IS NO BILL!!!! What there is, right now, is the third or fourth proposed framework for what President Biden will accept at a minimum in a reconciliation bill. There is no legislation written from that framework yet. There is no clear, firm, unequivocal commitment from either Senator Manchin or Senator Sinema that they’ll support a reconciliation bill written to Biden’s framework. And the House Progressive Caucus, as well as at least five Senate Democrats, have made it pretty clear in the last several hours they don’t trust either of them enough to take the leap of faith and pass the regular order infrastructure bill through the House unless it is tethered to the reconciliation bill. Which, and again, DOES NOT CURRENTLY EXIST!!!!
And I can’t say anyone could or should blame them:
Again- just like the statement from sinema this is not good. How can the speaker sell these comments to her caucus https://t.co/f1fsWI4GSk
— jim manley (@jamespmanley) October 28, 2021
We live in the real world. We don’t live in fantasy land where things just work out because they always sort of, if you squint from a certain angle, have in the past. There’s nothing to post on what is in the bill each week because what may or may not be in the bill changes several times an hour because neither Manchin nor Sinema will actually clearly, firmly, and unequivocally commit to anything. There’s a reason that as good a communicator and vote counter as Congresswoman Jayapal has demonstrated she is through all of this insanity for the past several month, Jayapal won’t get into specifics because she doesn’t have any specifics to go into. There’s what she and her caucus want, there’s what they’ll support if Biden says support it, and there’s the reality that all that exists on the Senate Democratic side is a constantly shifting list of what might, possibly be included depending on what time of the day someone asks Senators Manchin and/or Sinema about it.
That’s the reality of where we’re at. It is not where any of us want to be. But we’re here. And by the way, we’re not just here because of Senators Manchin and Sinema, we’re here because not a single Republican senator will support anything that President Biden proposes even when they, themselves, personally support the idea. Senator Manchin drafted his voting rights bill, that failed to get a single Republican vote to clear the cloture threshold last week, with Senator Murkowski. She still voted to prevent it from even moving to debate. All those Republican senators and representatives that negotiated and helped draft the regular order infrastructure bill now oppose it. And while it passed the Senate with a dozen or so Republican votes, the entire House GOP caucus opposes it. And we’re also not just here because the Republican Party has decided it has no interests in governing, just ruling, but because the news media, especially the political reporters covering national politics cover everything as if the Republicans have no agency. That everything is the Democrats responsibility and therefore fault. Here’s currently on paid medical leave because CNN provides it Kasie Hunt providing an example of this:
If paid leave is left out of this bill, I’m going to spend the midterms covering how suburban women who turned on the GOP over Trump are responding to Democratic governing in DC — especially after the pandemic
— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) October 28, 2021
You know who doesn’t support paid medical leave at all, for any reason, for anyone? EVERY SINGLE REPUBLICAN SENATOR AND REPRESENTATIVE!!!! But Kasie here is going to make it her personal mission in life not reporting, but on setting the narrative that the Democrats have somehow failed, once again, to save everyone from the fact that the Republicans will not do anything or support anything that is actually beneficial to the vast majority of Americans.
This is where we actually are. This is the actual reality. The Democrats are not in disarray. Each proposed framework, from Senator Sander’s original $600 billion per year equaling $6 trillion over 10 years reconciliation package to the initial compromise $350 billion per year equaling $3.5 trillion over 10 years to today’s compromise on the compromise framework is in line with what President Biden campaigned on, what all but a handful of Democratic representatives and 2 Democratic senators unequivocally support. Where we are is that the the Senate and House Republican caucuses refuse to lead, refuse to follow, and refuse to get out of the way because their objective is to rule. And the news media, especially the political reporters that cover DC, have a narrative, which is that the Democrats must always be the responsible actors and do something, regardless of what the Republicans do because Republicans and their actions get written about in the passive voice, which just turns everything into a big schmoz and confuses every issue unless one is paying very close attention. The do the same thing when they cover state level politics regarding redistricting, the pandemic, this entirely fabricated moral panic around CRT, etc. It’s why we have 23 states where Republicans control the governorships and the state houses as a result of extreme gerrymanders and voter suppression legislation. In those states there is no liberal democracy as voters cannot actually choose their representatives. Rather, in almost half of the states in the United States we have different variations of Orban’s and Putin’s managed, illiberal democracies!!!! The only person who regularly covers this is Ari Berman at Mother Jones. And the only chance at even remotely combating it right now is Marc Elias’s legal team.
Just yesterday Governor DeSantis finally set the dates for the state constitutionally mandated special elections to fill three state legislative seats that are open. All three are in minority majority districts and will almost certainly be filled by Democrats of color. When did he set the date for the general election to fill these seats? Three days before the end of Florida’s next legislative session. The people living in those districts will have NO REPRESENTATION DURING FLORIDA’s 2022 LEGISLATIVE SESSION!!!!
We can either deal with the actual reality we’re facing or we can live in fantasy land. The latter may be more mentally and emotionally comfortable, but ultimately reality is interested in you even if you are not interested in it.